disclaimer: twist slowly and away from your face

After I almost lost my eye opening a bottle of German mineral water, the PLGers discussed Matteo Pasquinelli’s “Digital Neofeudalism” and “Immaterial Civil War.” Pasquinelli and Franco “Bifo” Berardi were the organizers behind Rekombinant, a listblog, that lasted between 2000 and 2009. The listblog was “a minimal blog running as a web interface of a collective mailing list” that evolved out of the “intersection of radical philosophy, digital culture and post-Seattle global movements focusing also on art avant-gardes and university activism.” It predominantly circulated through the Italian intellectual skools.

Pasquinelli’s work, much like Bifo’s, focuses on the networks of cognitive labour, adapting Hardt and Negri’s “there is no outside” (from Empire) into a digital context. Class divisions are no longer clear, because of the shift from material to immaterial production. This shift changes our relationship to time and space: everything is now, there is no future, and all is here…

We discussed how our intellectual property can be used on Facebook. And how, following Pasquinelli, the only form of ‘real’ cyberactivism would be to commit online suicide. However, even deactivation, deletion, seppukoo.com, suicidemachine.org can’t promise the complete eradication of our online selfs/identity/property. We thought about the implications of intimate photographs of our family made accessible to the online ‘community’. How we not only unintentionally brand ourselves (by a tag and upload) but also our family, friends, children….

Not to become completely lost and exhausted in immaterial ‘space’ we also focused on Pasquinelli’s analysis of how “all the immaterial (and gift) economy has a material, parallel and dirty counterpart where the big money is exchanged.” Here, he is specifically drawing on David Harvey’s book The Art of Rent. We can see this particularly in Vancouver, where the rapid proliferation of new cafes, bars, and vintage clothing stores in the Downtown Eastside is emblematic of modern, sexy, aesthetic real estate forming new borders in the ghetto. Invading the area, like a parasite, while signifying a sense of community. Follow the gadgets (iPods, free music, live concerts) and you’ll find gentrification and traces of the neighborhoods systemic reality…

Those are some of the highlights. For our next meeting, Milena suggested reading Bad Medicine by John Reilly.

And remember: when opening a bottle of German mineral water aim it away from your face…

“it’s not the wine that tastes like shit, it’s the fucking mineral water”

1 comment
  1. An article I wrote, “Memories of the Future,” on a time when there actually was still a future. Engages with a number of recent writings on the subject by Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Slavoj Žižek, T.J. Clark, Owen Hatherley, Chris Cutrone, Max Ajl, Asad Haider, Salar Mohandesi, Ben Lear, and Malcolm Harris, which have been published by AK PRess, Zero Books, Jacobin, New Left Review, and others. Thought you might be interested.

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